Amy Li

Carnegie Mellon University/Boston University School of Public Health

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with a major in Computational Biology and minor in Computer Science. As an undergraduate, I worked in a computational cancer research lab, performing research to build risk prediction models for pancreatic cancer development using machine learning algorithms.

Following graduation, I wanted to continue research in computational modeling of cancer genomics, so I went on to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics at Boston University. Currently, as a second year student in the program, I am working in Professor Stefano Monti’s laboratory.

We are interested in developing computational approaches to determine cancer-related gene expression signatures and using such signatures to predict the carcinogenic potential of chemicals that may be implicated in breast cancer induction. Preliminary studies from the lab have shown that low-cost in-vitro assays are capable of accurately predicting the carcinogenic potential of chemicals of known status in driving tissue-specific cancer induction. Our aim is to leverage cost-effective gene expression assays to screen thousands of chemicals for potential links to cancer induction in breast cancer. Working closely with our collaborators in Dr. Sherr’s lab, we will also access the ability for in-vitro assays to reproduce in-vivo findings of AHR ligands’ role in cancer stem cells formation, as shown in Ms. Elizabeth Stanford’s research.

Amy Li, Ph.D.
We are proud that as of January 9, 2019, Amy successfully defended her 180 page thesis on cancer genomics and data generation, analysis, and tool development to further cancer prevention and therapy.  In her thesis acknowledgement, Amy wrote: “To the staff and members at Find The Cause Breast Cancer Foundation, thank you for funding two years of my PhD research, and thank you for all your dedication and commitment towards preventative breast cancer research.  We are getting there.  Soon, we will not only cure but prevent this horrendous disease.” We are proud to have supported Amy’s outstanding success and look forward to the great work she will go on to do.